Opposition To World League Plan

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2 February 2019

The World League proposal from World Rugby received a cool reception last week and seems destined to stay at drawing board stage for the mid-term at least unless Agustin Pichot and colleagues can come up with a formula that doesn’t threaten the standing of the Six Nations and squeeze the club calendar any further.

A new 12-team annual tournament would climax in a north v south play-off providing a global focus in non-RWC years. The plan – reportedly back by a generous broadcast offer – would require promotion-relegation in the Six Nations, the loss of the tournament to terrestrial TV and the clubs ceding time in their tight schedules in the autumn.

Each participating nation is reported to be likely to receive increased TV revenue of between £5m and £10m.

“There will be no relegation mechanism, whatsoever,” said Ben Morel, new chief executive of the Six Nations told the Telegraph this week. “It is definitely not on the agenda. It is clear that any future adaptations [to the global calendar] will need to be a substantial ¬improvement on the current set up, which is successful as the latest ¬autumn internationals series can attest. It would also need to fully ¬consider player welfare aspects and not dilute key existing and leading competitions such as the Six Nations.

“I come back to the principle, there is always a temptation for any sport to build future value on volume. Rugby needs to be extremely cautious of preserving

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